The Cox Plate Ė or the W.S. Cox Plate as it is more formally known, named for William Samuel Cox, a founding figure in Australian horse racing Ė is a 2040 metre Weight for Age handicap race on turf, for three-year-old horses and older. It is the richest Weight for Age handicap championship race in Australia with a prize of around $3 million. The Cox Plate horse race is highly regarded as a test of skill, even having been included in the Emirates World Series Racing Championships.
First run in 1922 at the Moonee Valley racecourse, the first Cox Plate was actually won by an overseas horse. The English horse Violincello took the 1922 Cox Plate, leaving the competition far behind.
The history of the Cox Plate has had many interesting turns and is an important test of skill for Australian horse racing champions. For instance, only six horses have managed to take the Melbourne Cup as well as the Cox Plate in a single year. Only one horse, Rising Fast, has ever taken the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate in the same year. If itís any wonder why Australia doesnít have a widely recognized Triple Crown of racing, itís partially due to how difficult it is to win the Cox Plate in addition to the other two big races for three-year-olds and over.
The 2013 Cox Plate will be held at Moonee Valley racecourse on 26 October. This is planned to be the first Cox Plate held at night, which may boost the number of attendees, due to removing conflicts for workers unable to get the day off.